Sometimes, a lot of times, things become far too noisy. Living in Paterson, NJ, where houses were constructed side by side (inches apart), it becomes difficult finding any quiet time. On top of the fault of construction workers and their conniving blue prints, there is the additional circumstance of having eight siblings.
Of course, the lives of my siblings are precious to me, but if there is anything they would agree with me on, it’s that there was little time for quiet in our home or in our neighborhood. With our nonstop-bachata-playing neighbors, the shouting generated from domestic or gang-related fighting, the sound of police sirens, loud phone call conversations heard at all hours of the night, silence became not just an unfamiliar face, but a stranger.
Instead, noise was my best friend. I lived with ear buds in my ear like they were my “best” bud. I began to feel uncomfortable in any instance of silence, which is why I preferred sleeping with the television on rather than off. Every night I would sleep to the sound of George Lope’z voice and wake to a buzzing alarm clock.
Noise. Where fore art thou, noise? I sought you and I found you. I didn’t want to be without you. Deep down, I knew that once the loud sounds of music, yelling, fighting, and shouting ceased, I would begin to hear my true thoughts; I would hear my conscience speak to me! The irony. I was afraid of the noise that Silence would construe in my own soul and not afraid of the noise of the world.
Really, I think what I was most afraid of -what we are most afraid of- is feeling that sense of abandonment and loneliness that comes from experiencing true silence. What trickery! Because in truth, in silence, we are most comforted and more united than from binge-watching Netflix till we fall “not-so” fast asleep.
I once heard it said that, “God speaks in silence.” With that, it must be said that silence is sacred. Therefore, let us then indulge in silence so that we may hear when God speaks to us- when our conscience speaks to us. If we follow that still-small voice in our souls (that can be discovered through silence), we might just find the answers we are looking for.
God bless you,